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Focus, determination, pain, disappointment, excitement, suspense, anger, relief: its all a part of the game whether your a man or a women. Although gender equality has come a long way, including UNESCO recognising sports and physical activity as a human right in 1978, many believe it still hasn’t come far enough.
In 2016 on of the major gender equality debates was when South African tennis professional Raymond Moore made a statement regarding women in sport. Many people believe that the comments that he made were unnecessary, causing him to receive a lot of backlash from the public. Moore subsequently apologised for his comments calling them ‘extremely erroneous’ and ‘in poor taste’ (Vallejo J, 2016).
Women face discrimination at all levels and continue to endure violence and abuse. Many feminists have worked hard to improve women equality over the past 150 years but unfortunately, we still have a long way to go. One of the major problems is the large pay gap better men and women. For example, the pay gap in the World Twenty20 Tennis Tournament was massive. The winning female player was payed $400,000 with the winning male being payed a massive $5.6 million (Wigmore T, 2016).
Novak Djokovic earned twice as much as Serna Williams ever thou they were both number one winning three of the four grand slams. The American Football pay gap is even broader with the prize money for the mens World Cup being $40 million, and the womens being just over one million. The founder of modern Olympic Games, Pierra de Coubertin described women’s sports as ‘the most anaesthetic sight human eyes could contemplate’. However, there were a few women that were allowed to compete in 1900.
The Football Association of England proceeded to ban female teams from loaning the pitches in 1921 as they believe the sport was ‘quite unsuitable for women’. From 1928 to 1960 women were not allowed to run an Olympic race that was longer than 200 metres, as it was believed that they would get too tired. In 1984 women made up just one fifth of the Olympics team. Many ‘male’ sports are seen to be too hard for females. Many women are now wanting to give ‘male’ sports such as footy and ruby a go rather than just sticking to the ‘female’ sports such as netball. This is an image of Charlotte Cooper Sterry who was the winner of five Ladies Singles Wimbledon Championships and reached eight consecutive finals from 1895-1902 (Charlotte Cooper Sterry, 2016).
Many of the men wore long white pants until 1930. Females were made to play in long dresses that restricted their movement. It was a long time until women were allowed to wear short skirts and dresses.Sterry was named the oldest female champion when she won her last title in 1908 at the age of 37 years old. Sterry’s story is unique compared to many others. At the age pf 26 she lost her hearing and become totally deaf(Charlotte Cooper Sterry, 2016). This is why Sterry is seen as a female role model to many females.
Hilary Clinton who is a well respected American politician said ‘we need to make equal pay and equal opportunity for women and girls a reality so women’s rights are human rights once and for all’.For many decades people have seen the inequality of women in sport but many decided to not voice their opinions. This is due to women or men being shamed for wanting females and ales to be equal.A very young inspiring athlete is Adrielle Alexandra, a 12-year old young athlete that competed in the Rio Olympics as a gymnast. She is among 400 young women aged 10-14 years, who are part of ‘one win leads to another’ which is an organisation encouraging young girls to participate in sport.
Four times a week Adrielle teaches ballet, gymnastics and pilate classes in one of the 22 public spaces with free sports facilities managed by municipality. Many people are very inspired to see such a young, kind soul making a difference to the future of womens sport.Gender inequity in sport it slowly coming to an end with 48.8 percent of the participants in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics expected to be females. Compared to only 13 percent of the participants being females when Tokyo last hosted the games in 1964 (Giese R, 2017) . Since 1991, every event that was added to the program included a women’s event. Before the Tokyo games male participation will be reduced and male events cut to make more room for female events.
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